Woodwork has a way of taking a nice product and making it extraordinary. The teardrop trailer is already a beloved icon inspiring visions of exploration and adventure. Add a birch interior, as High Camp has done, or a unique wood body, as on the Hütte Hut, and you take the teardrop to a new level of magnificence. The Australian-designed Wood on Wheels (WOW) Cedar Teardrop Camper might just reach another level yet. Built of red cedar from the fenders to the roof, this trailer is a downright beautiful shelter equipped with modern camping amenities.
Wood on Wheels founder Howard Campbell is new to the camper market, but he has two decades of experience working with the western red cedar that makes his trailer so distinctive. He spent those years using the richly colored wood for building hot tubs and saunas.
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In 2011, Campbell decided to apply his carpentry skills to building cedar camping trailers, aiming at sprucing up the timeless style of the teardrop with his favorite wood. It wasn't a seamless transition, as building a trailer for hitching to a vehicle presented a set of challenges quite different from building a hot tub or sauna. Finding the proper means of sealing the wood proved a nagging problem, and Campbell eventually discontinued the project.
But the idea of a red cedar camping trailer never quite left Campbell, and he decided to give it a second go earlier this year. This time around, he successfully navigated through the previous issues, including identifying a viable sealing method – sealing each timber panel individually before assembling them, sealing and lacquering. Campbell and his team at WOW have now officially launched the trailer.
The Cedar Teardrop has a revised teardrop shape with straighter edges, appearing something like a cross between a parallelogram (the classic angled one from geometry class) and a traditional teardrop. We're not sure the shape would look as pretty in all materials, but it does look stunning when built from strips of red cedar. Below all that wood is a powder-coated chassis with LED taillights and a pair of 15-in alloy wheels.
WOW equips its Cedar Teardrop with plenty of fixins, including a double mattress inside the cabin, a 12 V power system wired to two 110 Ah AGM batteries, two 12 V outlets, an 82 L water tank with pressure pump, and a gas instant hot water heater. The galley includes a stainless steel gas stove, stainless steel sink and a 50 L, 12 V refrigerator. Other features worth noting are the two double-lock security doors with fly screens, front cargo cage, dual interior and exterior LED lights, fold-up jockey wheel, 240 V power hookup and 16-in LED smart TV with wireless keyboard. It's all vintage looks outside, tech and engineering below.
The Cedar Teardrop measures 12.1 x 6.6 x 5.9 ft (3.7 x 2 x 1.8 m, L x W x H) and has a tare weight of 1,213 lb (550 kg).
WOW launched the Cedar Teardrop Camper last weekend at the 2016 South Queensland Caravan, Camping, Boating and Fishing Expo. It is offering the fully equipped trailer for AUD 23,500 and a base version without all the features starting at AUD 18,500. WOW anticipates that the prices will remain at those same levels for the US market – so US$23,500 and $18,500. Production is underway and lead time is two to three months.
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